JESSICA GERMAINE TAKES US INTO HER BEAUTIFUL BACKYARD GARDEN
Sitting on a half acre is the Abbotsford home of Jessica Germaine, her husband Matt, their three daughters, 11-year old Sophia, 7-year old Isla and 5-year old Amelia and two ridgeback dogs, 6-month old puppy Baker and 9-year old Molly. Ample family time is spent in the backyard, where Jessica often hosts family and friends. “I would have a party every weekend if I could,” Jessica smiles, “people come over and I love to cook and feed them.” And when she’s not hosting, Jessica is tending to a beautiful 1,100 square foot garden, with a bountiful of fruits and vegetables that act as ingredients in her dishes and desserts. Also planted in her garden are peonies, dahlias and hydrangeas that were originally from Jessica’s Grandma’s farm. “The smell of the earth,” Jessica shares, “brings back so many memories.”
At an early age, Jessica spent her weekends and summers at her Grandma’s farm. “I’d be on the tractor with my Grandpa,” Jessica remembers, “and sowing seeds with my Grandma. We had our own little plots and she’d show us how to pick the carrots and cover up the holes again. We’d pick lettuce and tomatoes in the greenhouse.”
Also on the farm was a bakery run by her uncle Hans, a European pastry chef from Germany who started his business in the 70’s. “He was incredible,” Jessica says, remembering the hazelnut and Grand Marnier tortes, croissants and Danishes, quiches and wedding cakes. “On the farm was four acres of raspberries,” Jessica remembers, “we were picking berries for the cakes in the bakery.” And now Jessica’s daughters roam the garden, picking raspberries, blueberries and wild strawberries (a tinier berry with intense flavour) for their own homemade tarts.”
“I love that my girls are out there,” Jessica adds, “we also grow edamame beans and they can’t wait to pick them and cook them.” Millie, the youngest helps with sowing the seeds, just like Jessica did with her own Grandma.
There’s always something cooking and baking in the kitchen (we’ve heard her meringues are to die for), and Jessica recently started photographing the magic. “I’ve always played with photography to some degree,” Jessica tells us. She recalls a recent food photography workshop she attended in Seattle, where she met talented content creators like ‘Not Without Salt’, winner of Saveur Magazine’s Best Cooking Blog. Greatly inspired, Jessica is in the midst of launching her own blog ‘Gather‘. Jessica is quick to point out that the blog will not be focused only on her food. “I’ll be reaching out to the local community,” Jessica explains, “there are local artisans like the cheese maker who might have an awesome family recipe, I want to go into people’s homes and tell the story behind the food.” ‘Gather’ launches later this summer.
Photo Credit: Tanya Goehring, Post Photography